ImageX is a command line tool that creates an image from a reference computer. ImageX:
- Runs in the WinPE environment on the reference computer to capture a volume image of the files.
- Saves the image to a Windows Image (WIM) file.
- Stores the WIM file to network distribution points, or stores the WIM file to a Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) on Enterprise or Ultimate editions.
- Modifies an existing image by adding drivers without recapturing the entire image.
To exclude specific files during the ImageX capture operation, create and use a Wimscript.ini configuration file. Be aware of the following:
- When creating the Windows PE medium, save the Wimscript.ini file in the same directory as the ImageX tool (e.g., c:\winpe\iso\) before creating the ISO.
- When ImageX runs on the reference computer, it will automatically recognize the Wimscript.ini file if you save the Wimscript.ini file in the same directory as ImageX.
- The Wimscript.ini file has three sections:
- The ExclusionList section defines what files and folders to exclude from the capture process.
- The ExclusionException section overrides the default exclusion list during the capture process.
- The CompressionExclusionList section defines the files and folders and file types that you want to exclude from the compress operation.
Be aware of the following ImageX (imagex.exe) options:
- /capture captures the volume image on the reference computer to a new .wim file.
- /config identifies an alternate configuration file name and location (when using a file other than Wimscript.ini in the same directory as ImageX).
- /compress specifies compression when capturing the system image.
- The maximum compression option provides the best compression, but takes the longest time to capture the image.
- The fast compression option provides faster image compression, but the captured files are larger than those compressed with the maximum option. This the default compression type.
- The none compression option does not compress the captured image.
- /split splits the captured image into multiple files.
- /apply deploys the image.
- /apply /ref deploys the image using the split files.
- /verify checks for errors and file duplication.
Use the following steps to capture the reference computer's Windows 7 installation onto a network share:
- Insert the bootable Windows PE medium into the reference computer.
- Reboot the reference computer and change the boot order to reference the Windows PE medium.
- Connect to the network share where you will copy the WIM file. For example, to connect to your network share, map the share as drive letter Z:, and then copy the image to the share, enter:
net use z: \\[servername]
- Determine the drive letter (i.e., drive partition) of the reference computer's Windows 7 installation.
- While running Windows PE on a machine with BitLocker, the first logical partition is already used as drive C: (i.e., Partition 1) and does not contain the reference computer's Windows 7 installation.
- WindowsPE does not automatically hide the BitLocker partition, and the next logical partition typically contains the reference computer's Windows 7 installation.
- Use the ImageX tool located on your Windows PE media to capture an image of your reference computer's Windows 7 installation and save it to the network share. For example, if the ImageX tool is on drive X:, drive D: is the location of the reference computer's Windows 7 installation, and drive Z: is the location for the new image file, you would enter:
x:\imagex.exe /capture d: z:\win7ent.wim "Win7 Ent Image"